Moment of Remembrance

“When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, “Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from right where the priests are standing, and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight” (Joshua 4:1-3).

At the foot of the Jordan River, Joshua declared the Word of the Lord, their God. Joshua pointed out that God would drive out the seven pagan tribes so that the people would know that the Living God was among the Israelites (Joshua 3:9-11). Furthermore, we are told that God had a broader purpose: “So that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful” (Joshua 4:24).

Although God may ask us to take the paths that are unknown and unseen to us, we can trust Him because the enemy is never able to catch God off guard. Soon as the priests carrying the Ark touched the water’s edge, the flow of the Jordan River from upstream stopped flowing, and the water flowing downstream emptied out. Miraculously, the Israelites were able to cross the river on dry ground (Joshua 3:13-17).

Once the whole nation crossed the Jordan River, the Lord commanded Joshua to choose twelve men representing each tribe to bring a stone from the middle of Jordan River where the priests stood still. The twelve stones were to be a vivid reminder what God has done for them so that the next generation would not forget (Joshua 4:1-7).

After the priests came out from the river carrying the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord, the water went back to the flood stage. On the tenth day, the Israelites camped at Gilgal, which is on the east of Jericho (Joshua 4:19). The word Gilgal means circle. The significance of this meaning is explained in Joshua 5:9, “Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” So the place has been called Gilgal to this day.”

What did God roll away? God rolled away the disgrace Israel had endured in Egypt and in the desert. Israel had suffered much from their past and cultivated a defeated mentality. Thus, God wanted to roll away their past fears of failing and defeat so that can move on to accomplish greater things for God.

God removed the stigma of Israelites from the past impurity, addiction, and despair so that they would never live with the grasshopper complex of the past. This moment was to be remembered forever. Israelites were now ready to fully engage in the war and take the land that was promised to them. They no longer wanted their past to hinder them. They were ready to obey God without hesitating because the turning point had come for them.

All of us at some point in our lives come to remember the faithfulness of the cross. We resolve to never to return to the world, yet we have allowed the circumstances of life to take the upper hand. Thus, our worship of God became mundane and spiritual growth nowhere in sight. Here, you drag through time because you live without having any victory over your sinfulness. You get easily frustrated and you blow up at little things.
Your marriage struggles because you can’t seem to overcome rough spots, so you blame and put your mate down. Then, the issues you face become like a campfire, but the enemy throws gasoline all over it and turns it into an out of control wildfire. So, you lose heart, and you can’t seem to find any good reason to continue on.

Illustration: There is a scene in “Braveheart” where Robert, who was a contender for the Scottish crown, was dominated by his evil father. The father wanted to secure the throne for his son by submitting to the English. The evil father whispered to his son, “All men betray; all men lose heart.” But, the son yelled back, “I don’t want to lose heart! I want to believe, like Wallace does. I will never be on the wrong side again.” That was the turning point for Robert, and the war took on a new turn for victory.

We are in a spiritual warfare and the moment you make a stand to fight, Satan will unload his assault on you. Just because you decide to protect you marriage in the name of Jesus, the enemy is not going to roll over and play dead. Satan will not leave you without a fight, and he will take the fight to another level. Satan will do everything to intimidate you, because he is afraid of you.

Satan’s worst nightmare is for you to come alive in the Spirit of the Lord and fight back, because when you fight back he knows he has no chance of winning. James said, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). Our turning point in the battle for victory comes to us when we submit completely to God.

God promised Joshua, “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you” (Joshua 1:5). How was God with Moses? After crossing the Red Sea and seeing the display of God’s power, Israel declared, “The LORD is a warrior” (Ex. 15:3). God fought for Moses, and He will fight for us. However, this does not mean we sit around do nothing to take a stand for our marriage, families, and for our Church.

If you refuse to take a stand for the gospel, you will feel yourself becoming less alive. God will show you a way to overcome your battles, but His way may require you to stretch yourself to do things you have never done before and take great risks to become humble before you can grow. What God may require of you may seem impossible, but once you trust Him you will become more alive.

Like I said before, challenges in life will awaken you and stretch you beyond your capacities. However, to your amazement, something will start to flow out of you again. Your worst time will become most memorable time that will mark your turning point. Ask God to take you to the next level. Ask Him to stretch you so that you can experience the Holy Spirit stirring and flowing over your heart.

Perhaps you are standing at Gilgal needing God to roll away your past disgrace, your past pain, and your past hardships. However, I am sorry to say God will not roll them away for you, because He has already removed it by crucifying His own Son to the Cross for our sins. The past cannot determine your future, because they no longer have power to hinder you. Today can be your turning point. Realize God will go before you and fight for you.

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